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Sizzling Early Season Heat En Route For West – Again

20 May 2020, 12:24 pm

Here we go again.

Just a few weeks after a series of early season heat waves spiked temperatures over 100 degrees in Phoenix, Arizona and baked much of the Southwest in record high temperatures, more excessive heat could be in store this weekend into next week across the region.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the next 6-10 and 8-14 days places much of the Southwest in its hotter-than-average zone. This would mean next week – starting on Memorial Day – will lean exceptionally hot for the Southwest, including California, southern Nevada, Arizona and perhaps the Four Corners states as well. That could have a wide array of impacts, but perhaps most notably it could increase fire danger next week throughout the Southwest.

Here’s the sequence of CPC temperature outlooks, starting with the 6-10 day outlook for early-to-mid next week:

In Phoenix, temperatures are running nearly six degrees above average so far this month, through Monday. In Los Angeles, temperatures are running more than five degrees above average as well so far this month. Those departures from average could well grow next week, perhaps putting those cities’ (and others) warmest Mays on record within reach.

Meanwhile, the precipitation outlook for next week places much of the Southwest in its wetter-than-average zone for the later part of next week, as eventually a cooling surge of moisture should start to bring some rain chances into the region.

Until then, though, dry, windy and hot weather could create dangerous fire conditions and further add to the region’s growing drought. Next week’s balmy weather pattern will be largely in part due to a developing ridge of high pressure, which will help to promote general sinking and drying of air.

Offshore, downsloping winds off the Sierra Nevada mountains of California will also help to enhance the heat across the Golden State.

In both meteorological situations, higher fire danger could be in store for next week across much of the Southwest.


We’ll have more specifics on temperatures, potential record highs, fire weather outlooks and exact wind speeds as the event gets closer. In the near term, get those air conditioners ready and just know that it looks mighty hot across the Southwest next week.

Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this early season heat wave.

About the author
Chris doesn't remember a time when that he didn't love the weather. When he was five years old, he wrote his first words, "Partly cloudy", in Ms. Benn's kindergarten class. According to Chris, it's been a love affair ever since, from teaching himself how to read forecast models at age 12, to landing at WeatherNation. Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, he started to go after his lifelong drea... Load Morem of becoming a meteorologist by predicting whether or not there would be snow days - turning him into Greenwich High School's "defacto weatherman". He turned that snow day-predicting website into a front page story a local newspaper, which in turn earned him a look at WABC-TV in New York, where Chris did the weather live on-air at the age of 16. He attended Boston University, where he continued being a "weather nerd", performing weather updates on the campus radio and TV stations, and doing the daily forecasts for the student newspaper. Following his studies at BU, Chris worked at Mile High Sports and ESPN Denver for four years while pursuing his certification in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. Chris is a huge sports fan, rooting for the Rockies, Nuggets, Broncos, Avalanche and UConn. He frequently find links between sports and weather, including an investigative analysis he did in 2013, finding trends between Peyton Manning's play and game time temperature (he doesn't like the cold). Chris also enjoys running, playing any sport, socializing and periodically overeating at all-you-can-eat buffets.

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